5 Ways to Keep Chill-As-Fuck During This Bay Area Heat Wave

We don’t need to suffer any more than we have to — especially in this economy.

Is it hot? Yes. Why? It’s the heat. And if recent weather projections are to be taken seriously, it appears this Bay Area heat wave, which exists as part of the larger heat dome that’s bowled California, will linger longer than expected.

Bay Area locals can now expect to sweat through record-high temperatures until at least the middle of the week. The Bay Area chapter of the National Weather Service extended its Excessive Warning and Heat Advisory today until at least Thursday, September 8th.

Worse? We may not hit the hottest of temperatures until tomorrow. So… the thick film of sweat currently glossing our eyebrows is expected to only get dewier (in a bad way).

However, that’s not to say we can’t find hyperlocal ways to beat the heat and cool-the-fuck down. Given that only 47% of Bay Area households reported having air conditioning in a 2019 housing survey, the majority of locals — us included — wouldn’t be dismissive of ways to chill out, sans at-home a/c.

In between your day drinking escapades atop Dolores Park and Ocean Beach walks, here are five left-of-center ways to beat the heat this week.

Explore your local zoological facility

Much like museums and movie theaters, the indoor exhibits at your City zoos and aquariums are also climate-controlled. Just like us bipedal primates, animals in captivity are susceptible to overheating and heat exhaustion.

The San Francisco Zoo’s South American Tropical Rainforest and Aviary envelops zoo-goers in a breezy environment as you go about looking at Amazonian reptiles; the California Conservation Habitarium at the Oakland Zoo shrouds guests in a cooling shade; the Steinhart Aquarium at Cal Academy will quickly close any pores while looking at cephalopods living their best lives; the Aquarium by the Bay has a whole-ass underwater tunnel people can (slowly) stroll through in climate-controlled peace.

Pro tip: Check any COVID-19 safety information before heading out, and buy your tickets in advance. Some institutions, like the SF Zoo, require visitors to pre-book a time slot prior to entry.

Grab the Hot Girl Scoop

You’re not a regular Hot Girl. You’re a cool Hot Girl — looking to get chillier by consuming frozen dairy products that aren’t the norm. You’re ready to enter into your Gelato Era, rn.

Lucky for us, there is no shortage of gelaterie — shops that carry and specialize in gelato — in the Bay Area. Lush Gelato in SF makes unique flavors (think black mission fig preserves mixed with port wine) in small batches, while Berkeley’s Caravaggio Gelato Lab has become a go-to for gourmet vegan gelatos and more traditional offerings. 

Take respite on BART

All underground BART stations are blessed with not only better wifi now, but running a/c that can take even the hottest of Bay Area Days. And when you do inevitably get on a train, it’s nice to know that the air-conditioned aura you’re breathing in while riding BART is filtered more effectively than that in the typical office or indoor setting like a grocery store.

We love to see it.

Lux Hotel Lobby kikis

You don’t *necessarily* have to be a guest to enter any number of local hotels — The St. Regis, Hotel Zetta, and Hotel Nikko San Francisco immediately come to mind re: unfussed entry into their lobbies — so long as you know where to go.

After your cold shower, pack a backpack with your laptop and favorite edible, then head out to a ritzy hotel to sequester both the opulent vibes and air-conditioned luxury, all while catching up on your to-watch list. 

Pro tip: Upscale hotels with dedicated on-site bars and restaurants are going to be far easier to fly under the radar in, as they won’t likely require a room key to enter the property. 

Hook up with somebody who at least has a window unit

These are trying times, indeed. As far as we can deduce: There are no “has a/c” filters to apply on Grindr, Scruff, Hinge, etc.. So, while asking the usual round of pre-hook-up questions — “When were you last tested?” “On PrEP?” “Monkeypox vaccinated?” “Into?” “Do you and your partner play together or separate?” “You’re not a R*p*bl*c*n, right?” — see if they have to a/c.

Better yet: Ask if it’s centralized or afforded by way of a window unit. If you’re on The Apps this week in search of skin-to-skin connections, make it clear in the bios that you do, indeed, have a/c. Your cache will unquestionably go up.

Cool off and get off, responsibly. It’s 2022… and the climate crisis is only going to make things more unbearably hot.

Feature Image: Courtesy of iStockphoto

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